BRAIN AWARENESS WEEK
Brain Awareness Week is an annual global campaign that aims to increase public awareness and understanding of the brain and its functions. This week-long affair is typically held in March, during Brain Awareness Week a range of activities are organized by scientific organizations, schools, and community groups to help people of all ages learn more about the brain, its incredible abilities, and the importance of brain research. The ultimate goal of Brain Awareness Week is to encourage people to become more engaged in brain research and to support efforts to improve brain health and treat neurological disorders.
Your brain controls everything from your thoughts, emotions, and behavior to your movement, senses, and memories. With 100 billion neurons and trillions of connections, your brain is a truly remarkable organ, and there is still much to discover about its workings.
The brain is composed of over 100 billion nerve cells, or neurons, that communicate with each other through synapses. These connections allow the brain to carry out a vast range of functions, from basic reflexes to complex cognitive processes.
The human brain is an incredibly energy-intensive organ, capable of generating around 23 watts of power, roughly enough to power a small lightbulb. This high level of energy consumption underscores the vital role that the brain plays in supporting our physical and cognitive functions.
The human brain is incredibly fast at processing visual information, able to analyze an image in as little as 13 milliseconds. This lightning-fast speed enables us to react quickly to our environment and make split-second decisions.
The subconscious mind plays a powerful role in decision-making, with an estimated 95% of decisions made at an unconscious level. This highlights the importance of understanding the subconscious mind and how it can influence our behaviors and actions.
Cholesterol is an essential component of the brain, with around 25% of the body's cholesterol found in this vital organ. Every brain cell requires cholesterol to function properly, and insufficient levels of cholesterol can lead to cell death and impaired brain function.
The brain is made up of about 7.3% water, and even mild dehydration of as little as 2% can have significant effects on cognitive function, including attention, memory, and decision-making abilities. Therefore, it's essential to stay adequately hydrated to ensure optimal brain function.
The Devastating Effects of Alzheimer's Disease on Memory, Thinking, and Personality
People with Alzheimer's Disease gradually suffer memory loss and a decline in thinking abilities, as well as significant personality changes. These losses in cognitive function are accompanied by changes in the brain, including the build-up of amyloid plaques and tau-containing neurofibrillary tangles, which result in the death of brain cells and the breakdown of the connections between them.
The Healthy Brain vs. Alzheimer's Brain:
What You Need to Know
CEREBRUM: The main part of the brain filling most of the skull and consisting of two hemispheres. It is crucial for remembering, problem solving, thinking, feeling and movement.
CEREBRAL CORTEX (outer layer of the cerebrum): Interprets sensations, generates thoughts, participates in learning, memory and controls movement.
CEREBELLUM: Controls coordination and balance.
BRAIN STEM: Connects the brain to the spinal cord and controls breathing, digestion, heart rate and more.
CEREBRAL CORTEX: Due to widespread cell death, the cortex shrivels up, and individuals lose their ability to communicate, recognize family and friends and care for themselves.
NERVE CELLS AND TISSUES: Progressive cell and tissue death causes the brain to shrink dramatically and over time affects nearly all of a person’s functions.
HIPPOCAMPUS: Severe shrinking impairs the ability to form new memories.
VENTRICLES: Fluid-filled spaces grow larger due to brain cell death and brain shrinkage, leading to the ventricles expansion. The brain cell death causes thinking and reasoning problems, followed by difficulty in walking and loss of bladder control.
TANGLES: Abnormal, twisted clusters of proteins (e.g. Tau) that slowly prevent cells from functioning, which ultimately lead to cell death and can cause serious brain malfunctions.
PLAQUES: Abnormal aggregates of protein fragments (e.g. Abeta) that accumulate between cells, slowly perturbing most brain functions.
Every 65 seconds, someone in the United States develops Alzheimer's disease, a debilitating condition that slowly erodes the mind and body. By donating to Alzheimer's research, you can make a significant difference in the lives of those affected by this devastating disease. Your contribution will help fund critical research to develop new treatments and, ultimately, find a cure. By taking action today, you can help bring us one step closer to a world without Alzheimer's. Donate now and make a difference in the fight against Alzheimer's.
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE BRAIN AND ALZHEIMER'S
The affects of Alzheimer's in the Brain
People with Alzheimer’s disease gradually suffer memory loss and a decline in thinking abilities, as well as major personality changes. These losses in cognitive function are accompanied by changes in the brain.
Brain changes 20 Years Before Alzheimer’s
Scientists increasingly recognize Alzheimer’s as a disease process that begins years before symptoms of dementia become evident. Research has found changes in the brain and body up to 20 years before Alzheimer’s symptoms arise.
How Brain Plaque Affects Your Memory
Beta-amyloid, a toxic protein when it builds up in the brain to form plaques, is a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease. But many people have beta-amyloid buildup in the brain for years without showing severe memory loss.